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Promoting excellence in Education


10. 06. 19

Eurasian Higher Education Leaders’ Forum 2019 «Future Ready Graduates» 6 June - 7 June, Nur-Sultan City

On June 6-7, 2019, the VIII Eurasian Higher Education Leaders Forum was held at the Nazarbayev University. The theme of this year’s Forum is “Future Ready Graduates”.

About 300 delegates from 12 countries took part in the conference. IQAA was represented by IQAA’s President Kalanova Sh.M. and staff members.

During the event, best international practices and current issues in the field of education were discussed, in particular, how to develop the potential of future leaders and adapt universities to a changing labor market.
The opening ceremony was accompanied by the welcoming speech of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Gulshara Abdykalikova. After that, the president of the Nazarbayev University Shigeo Katsu made an introductory report.

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On the first day of the conference, two plenary sessions and four parallel seminars took place.

The first plenary session under the same name “Future Ready Graduates” was moderated by the President of the Nazarbayev University Shigeo Katsu.

Among the speakers of the session, the presentation of Crystal Lim-Lange, co-founder and CEO of Forest Wolf, was of particular interest. In her speech, Crystal raised the issue of the relevance of universities in the era of breakthrough technologies, artificial intelligence and the fourth industrial revolution. According to Crystal, to prepare highly qualified graduates, universities must perform three main functions: develop skills, expand social networks, and inform employers about the value and potential of their graduates.

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In the second plenary session entitled “HEI Challenge: Changing Job Market”, the moderator was Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Nazarbayev University, Dr. Daniel Pugh.

A distinctive performance at this session was the presentation of the only representative of the business community - Director for Recruitment in Kazakhstan of the Boston Consulting Group, Leyla Abdimomunova. In her speech, she noted the attractiveness of remote professions and freelancing among the younger generation. She also added that the great challenge for educational institutions is the ability to predict and prepare personnel for future professions that have not even appeared today.

In the afternoon, four parallel seminars were held. A presentation of books by international and Kazakhstan authors on topical issues of higher education was held at the Graduate School of Education of the Nazarbayev University. Among them, “Education reform and internationalization: the case of school reform in Kazakhstan” edited by David Bridges (2014); “Higher Education Reform and Development: The Case of Kazakhstan” edited by Matt Matthew Hartley & Alan Ruby (2017); “University Sustainability in Relation to Higher Education Funding Model in Kazakhstan in the Context of Transition Period” (2019) by the authors Ali Ait Si Mhamed, Rita Kasa, Aida Sagintayeva and Hans Vossensteyn.

The second day of the conference was devoted to work in four breakout sessions and final sessions.

The breakout sessions covered the following topics: Global Imperative and Local Relevance, HEI Value Proposition: Future Leaders, Future Ready HEI, and Lifelong Learning: Never Stop Asking.

At the final meeting, under the moderation of the President of the Nazarbayev University Shigeo Katsu, the results of previous discussions were summed up. Participants discussed lessons learned, next steps for the academic community and made recommendations.

Conference materials will be available on the official conference website:

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